The creation of a centre for opera in Africa is another project that is dear to me.
So-called "western classical" music is rarely represented in Africa. I believe that it remains principally associated with a period in which Africans were oppressed by abusive colonialism.
Africans have a very rich musical heritage that is specific to them, and recognised around the world as one of humanity's highest forms of artistic expression.
I am convinced that classical music could represent a fantastic bridge to connect our two cultures. It would, on the one hand, facilitate the integration of African artists into a musical circle that is closed to them and, on the other hand, classical music would have so much to gain from artists of African origin, both in terms of performers and composers.
Today, the presence of Asian musicians in our concert halls and opera houses is something that goes without saying. The Japanese, Koreans and Chinese have profoundly influenced the classical music landscape through their contribution. I hope that one day the same will be true for African artists.
Everyone knows that in Europe, classical music, opera and classical concerts tend not to cater for the masses, which would much rather consume highly-Americanised commercial music. An African contribution in this domain could, I am certain, bring about many changes.
If you have any suggestions to make for the realisation of this project, I look forward to hearing from you and would be delighted to respond with my impressions and reflections.
Letters of support :
Pierre BARTHOLOMÉE, Pierre BOLLE, Marie-Noëlle de CALLATAY, Peter de CALUWE, José CARRERAS, Patrick DAVIN, Stefano MAZZONIS di PRALAFERA, Norbert NOZY, Georges-Élie OCTORS, Lukas PAIRON, Ruggero RAIMONDI, José VAN DAM, Annette VANDE GORNE, Zeger VANDERSTEENE